*m

blind

arcade













 

 

 

1 “

girl

PARTY PEOPLE

2007

WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN I FIRST
WANTED HIM & BEFORE I HAD HIM

 
THE GIRL: [MAY]
THE BOY: MIGHT

I wasn’t smoking
when I met him
when I met him
I’d been drinking.
But conversations
with an old friend
brought up stories
from our last dent.
When he said
it wasn’t –
heaven that sent
me here.
[]
Like the night
we went to get him
from the pier &
I’m reminded that
we never ever saw him
standing there.
Not a notion
of withstanding
understanding of
the motion
not a notion
knowing we
were ever even there.
[]
Never waiting
never patient
never fair.
Never knew him
to have ever
seen us
there.
Never offered
Never searched
Never uttered
Never sought
Never spoken
Never pondered
Never mentioned
we were there.
[]
So what was said
of times
we
mingled
with
the dead?
When he was looking
at my ankles
[in my head]
and I was playing
with my angles
wrapped my fingers
around the lace adorn
my skirt
[It’s often said]
something wandered through my
lonely –
tepid head
[and then my heart]
he was certain
I was certain
he was there
if she was there
if I saw it then &
never told him
in a kindness
there were marks
upon his –
satining on like
oil on his shirt –
I think was blood
from the rolling
in the dirt and
in the mud
oh
what a love
that it was
from the times we
aforementioned
just because
it was us to
often mention –
not because of
being
out of love.
but
just because.
[]
But now it’s over
we just talk now
he tells me stories
from the years
[somehow]
and I’m just repeating
in our fashion
what was said
when it had happened
“I know nothing
about nothing”
nothing good.
[in my head]
as I have very often said
I should have said
in my head
[better yet]
so instead
“Knowing nothing
about nothing
can be good
if it’s good”
& that it’s good.
[]
& yet..
to think back then
& again so often
[like I know I kind of – shouldn’t]
back to when
I would go to find
and confide in
all times he’s been
on my mind since
&
feel in spite of what
that I’ve sensed –
think I still might
have from time been
caught up in
attendance to
seem mean
and resigned to be
miss-understood
down in the underwood
of Falgarwood
[where I can find him]
[]
Whether or not
you think
I really
rather
should
I do not care
even if I
ever really
even could –
I wouldn’t.
Understood?
[]
But I keep staring
at his collar,
and that way
I might remember
how they sat
there then together
in the chair
made out of wood.
[]
In the darkness
he was touching
she was laughing
I was dying
retrograding
into dreaming
I’m forgetting
all I could.
[]
He said: Baby
Words don’t matter
Words surrender
to the feeling
to the meaning
even if their meaning’s
far from good
& heaven sent
him here for her
as we should
just as we should
still mention –
[]
Just as he should
have sent for her
that morning when he offered her –
he could have really answered her –
in an answer for her asking
for the years of often asking
whether –
he was really
meant
for her or
just for her?
[]
If he was really
meant for me
or just for her?
[]
That’s for sure.
[]
Cause we were walking
in the summer
dreaming winter
thinking inter-
thinking about
[never ever]
being alone
[]
Now he would find me
quoting softly
what he
said
back when he
answered “Attend”
to me
w h i s p e r e d
gently
through the
corded
phone.
…in a tangled tone
[]
I remember
how his eyes were lowered
at my ankles
calling back the number
he knew back then
to my family home
through family phone
[]
And I can keep trying
to remember what
he meant to me that
summer
when he said summer
after summer
was spent in slumber
with another
in and often
of her
it was for her
when he said
There’s no forever
in our beauty
and that’s the
beauty
in a baby
But what’s a
baby when it’s
born not out
of love?
[]
Infinite love.
[]
Why he said it?
Why I remember?
I can’t remember.
Why I believe her?
What I told him?
Why, “I surrender”
even
If I
never
mean it
like that
but say it
like that
say it
just because.
[]
That
often
was
[]
just another
“He won’t
believe me’s”
in the morning
when he goes
through his
second thoughts.
So I can’t believe in this
kind of feeling
when I know it’s not the feeling
that I want
& I know it’s not
so I’m going home
[like I ought]
[]
And I keep repeating
The words he was speaking
when no one’s there to be reading into
the words that have been bleeding
through my often
beading furrowed brow
[or what they point out]
[when he’s not around]
[]
That what I want
more then anyone
could really want:
That feeling
that flighty feeling
is the feeling
i’ve been needing
it’s just not
the feeling
that i’ve got
when he’s around.
[]
Or anyone could
ever know so well.
 
RELATIONSHIP
STATUS: ADDICTED

 
[return to top of poem]

 

 

2 “

both

2007

THE COMPASSIONED LUSHERS

JANE AND MATTHEW

“WE SAT TOGETHER INSIDE OUR
HAZE OF ABSOLUTE TRUTH…”

TRYING NOT TO SWEAR

 
THE GIRL: JANE

TRYING NOT TO PRECLUDE
 

The waitress appeared intrigued by our fruitless conversation while the seniors tried not to stare for very long. You ask me questions to which I answered with lies. You asked me about my greatest fears and instead I showed you my version of life. You see my fear as my struggle and pain, and you see my desire to be communicating solely with you. I told you it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to actually explain.. or to express my idea of who and what I feel to anyone. Not when I was so aware that they whomever listens, would have a chance to know me in my entirety, when I myself had no idea who I was. To understand my mind seems so impossible now.

Equality deteriorates. The individual succeeds before death, but not necessarily in their own life time. I don’t want to fear this truth. This reality, this forsaken decay faces every moment I encounter. I have lost all sense of what it means to be your partner, or friend. Those conversations them again. I don’t want to, I know there is better out there to be said, heard, screamed. You told me you shared sentiments.

You said you felt the same.


THE RAPTURE

THE BOY: MATTHEW
 
We remain hopeful and sad, motionless and reckless, intoxicated and introverted; our circles are not ready to stop. Then we part ways with the strangers who eaves drop.

When we left that restaurant the dream spiraled and turned. We found comfort and then we found God. God was swallowed by three adolescent girls in the form of a pill. We did not feel God at first, nor did he he come to me by heart, but then again we could not feel. But we were aware of him. We were aware of how little he seemed to know about any given thing at any given time. We made our way along [he was not far behind]. The dream grew dewy and as the sun began to sink our rapture approached.

God left us and we found tea, a much more refreshing trade off at that time. I was glad to experience a change. You rode your bicycle alongside mine, and we found our place and locked it away, careful not to forget from where we came. It was up the stairs and into the party, and there are our stories, our nights, times wasted and thoroughly enjoyed, remembered, illegal, and ultimately lost. This was another balmy summer by the lake. Sweet and spoiled like my sister’s knowing leer.

 
RELATIONSHIP
STATUS: SECOND TRY

 

 

3 “

both

2007

ALICE AND
MATTHEW

TAKING TURNS TELLING
THE SAME STORY

 
The house was stale with the smell of dead water decaying the wooden structure from the ground up. The inconsistent bang of an unlatched window shutter being tossed back and forth by the wind could be heard two floors below by the intruders. Abandoned architecture was a friend Matthew and Alice held in highest regard, like the deepest rogue in every prostitute’s wardrobe.

Creeping through the musky halls whispering words once used by histories great generals, screaming the commands of renegades through crooked doorways. They always hoped for horror, they always came out alive.

Alice is sitting on her knees, turning her head at every minor noise and creak. She is certain the room has a rat but won’t stay before she has seen it. Her dress is streaked with dust and soot, and her ankles are twice as dirty. She sighs and clicks her tongue at the reminder of the thick must in the air of dead buildings.

Matthew notices and raises his eyebrows without lifting his attention from the book he holds in his hands. It is a decaying novel he has found on a broken bookshelf in the sitting parlor, E.S. Holt’s ‘The White Lady of Hazelwood.’ Another medieval forewarning of the life imprisonment that comes with love.


PREMPTIVE STRIKE

THE GIRL: [ALICE]
AN ABORTED ATTEMPT AT
ENTERING THE UNKNOWN

 
She is imagining a great brawl between the home’s mistress and her two lovers, the husband has just thrown her second man into the wall and his elbow has left a deep hole.
“Common then.”

Alice leans over and softly kisses his knuckle, as the screams of the phantom brawl ring in her ears, smiling she adds, “We haven’t checked the place for ghosts yet?”

“What?” His eyes rise to meet hers, which fall quickly to her hands, folded and cold.“There’s a draft in here. Common then,” she commands.


Leaving Matthew to his book Alice rises to her full height, in doing so, throwing years worth of dust into the air, and consequently, Matthew’s lungs. She takes a last look at the room furnished with the broken ends of a metal bed frame and the figure of a sitting boy.

Returning to the dreary hallway, not waiting for Matthew to follow, Alice walks forward to a slightly ajar door. Peering into the darkness she finds a long staircase downward.

“The cellar” She whispers to herself, opening the door just enough to accommodate her body width, Alice places her hand on the grimey railing and follows suit with her foot on the first step. A hand grabs her by the shoulder. It is only Matthew telling her she shouldn’t go down there, not this time, there was something he did not trust about the state of this house.

Time seems to slow as he leads her away from the dark place, her breath stills, her hand trails behind her.

The image of her brother walking out the basement of her parent’s home from a summer long ago fills her vision. Her presence fills memory through the spiraling gap of life and death. This was not her home, but she was here to take it home with her today.

With Matthew’s arm around her, they walk to the back door and stop to watch the birds dive down into the long grass, and perch again atop unkempt hedges. Time returns, she is standing next to Matthew, he has the book in his hands and he is reading a passage aloud.

The words sound new and strange to her ears. The dialogue feels directed at her, calling into Alice’s world were the admittances of her own faults and follies. Characters long dead even in literary terms, were telling her where she had to go, why she had to change. What a fool she had been, all these long years.

As Matthew closes the book and places it in her hands, Alice has a premonition that he is ready to leave. Obediently she turns the novel over in her hands. The cover is an olive green with beautiful gold inlays and floral details. She turns around and walks alone toward the front door. Matthew follows.


HIS WAY HOME

 

THE BOY: MATTHEW

ALWAYS TAKING TURNS AT
TELLING THE SAME STORY

 

I am walking after her. She looks like a phantom image of herself, drifting away like a steady breath before falling asleep. Does she know I’m still with her?

“Let’s go upstairs Alice, there might be an attic door.” I remember all the riddles that she would spend her nights conspiring over when we were still kids. She would ask me in utter seriousness how I would escape a room without window nor door, without any object or tool to assist me.

She would make the situation impossible, and only at the brink of failure let me into the attic. She was always waiting for me up there, sorting through boxes of old childhood relics and memorabilia. There was always a window in her attic. There were always ways to escape once I was with her.

“Alice are you coming with me or what?” She smiles faintly and puts the book inside her bag. Walking back to me, I take her hand and we walk up the creaking staircase. She looks tired, or distressed, I think she is ready to go to her own home. We have been exploring for a long time now, I am surprised she made it this far, but I can’t keep her against her will any further.


I remember the first time we went into an abandoned house together. She was so scared whenever we turned a new corner. I think she expected to find the corpses of the long departed family members. She always listened for ghosts, for the footsteps of the living dead following us deeper into a trap. I laugh at these memories, she doesn’t ask what I am thinking, only smiles. Those days where everything was too new to take notice of each other. I bet she’s thinking the same things at the same time. Alice always sees through the walls.

We reach the landing and Alice leads us into a room, once painted a brilliant hue of rose, now a rotten scarlet, there is litter all over the floor, a table and chair, and the bare wiring of a box spring mattress. Alice finds a picture frame on the ground and raises it to her eyes to examine the expressions on the faces. I lean my head over her shoulder so that I am able to see as well. It must be from the 1970’s, the orange hue is unmistakable of the time period. A young girl with long golden locks of hair is leaning over a sink, filling a decanter with water. Another girl stands beside her, and behind them a young boy, engrossed in their work. I look at Alice, her eyebrows are furrowing together and she is biting on her lip. Sometimes she still regrets having the childhood that she did.

I try to find an object of equal interest in the scattered room but nothing suffices. I take the photo from her hands and study the image more closely, letting her mind come back down to mine. I know she is wondering why this picture was left here, why this picture and why that book about the White Lady. Alice always wonders why.

“Matthew?” She interrupts

“Yes?” I ask.

“I have figured lots of things out today.”

“Hmmm?” I continue to examine the photograph, running my finger over the wooden frame, careful not to snag any splinters.

“I love you Matthew.” I can feel her eyes staring at me; I can’t decide whether or not I should interrupt.

“You understand what very little can, you have a strength which will last your entire life.” My heart is beginning to quicken its pace. I think she is serious, her voice sounds so sullen.

“I would have gone to the end of the world in your arms, I very well still will, but this is over Matthew.”

“You want to go home?” I ask her.

“No Matthew, I want to go on without you.” Lowering the photo, I reach my eyes to meet hers. She stands so sturdy on the dirty floor. Her dress is covered in filth, her face is streaked with dust, and her lips are full and still.

“I love you Alice.”

“I know you do Matthew.”

I wonder if she knows the way home from here.

 
RELATIONSHIP
STATUS: OVER

 

 

4 “

boy

2007

OLIVE BRANCHES & HONOUR
KILLINGS FOR STAR CROSSED LOVERS

 
THE BOY: MISSING
THE GIRL: [AXA]
 

Across the world, olive trees are being torn from their ancient roots to build a wall.
It is the formal division, a three-mile long barricade dividing the Shia and Sunni dominions.

Farmers watch as their orchards crumble before their homes. The resistance is ambitious and proposers on truth and values, honour and family.

They are calling out my name in treason.

Every moment the buzzing roar of street rage approaches. Their calls are climbing at my neck with a relentless grasp.

I fear their mob enclosing. Fists raised are worse then the bullet wound. I know a shot would be instant, a beginning and ending in one moment.

I call out for my mother. She comes and I lay my grieving head, quiet in her lap.

There is a point where the pounding is all you have left to envelope.

They found me perfectly still.

 
RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
FATAL ATTRACTION

 

 

5 “

girl

2007

TWO SISTERS
TWO TYPES

VIRTUES AND
DESIRES

Once in a small town of sorts
inside a large house lived two sisters.
One was interesting, the other was interested.

 
THE GIRL: [VIRTUOUS]
THE GIRL: DESIROUS
WHILE STUCK IN TRANSIT
 

Her fellow was a dark type, desperate eyes, perfect lips, heaven’s doll. Her sister’s suitor was severely inflicted by his own thoughts. She was here to take them away with her company again today, but it was her sister’s responsibility to be held responsible for the remedy in his mind. She was the reason most of them danced so long into the night, she slept though the dawn. All her frightened dreams were conceived by someone else’s memories. But it was the virtuous who sat with them in the morning hours time and time again. They were the sisters in the history diagrams, of darkness meeting both human and light at once. They held the hearts of men and women all throughout the universe in the palm of their eye. There was blood on their hands, revenge on their mind.

He says “it is what you want it to be, but I need to be the abhorrent abandon of a familiar in a strange place” as he gets up from the seat his body had become attached to and walking across the room to the window and leaned against the frame. There are some things which don’t make sense to me. She asks herself in the heavy grey silence pouring in from the shifted blinds. Washing the mahogany trimmings in a new light. Why has she invited both of us here today now after everything which has happened in the absence of encounters? Why was she taking so long to join in?

Her computer screen hung in lace, his was positioned casually in the most comfortable position he imagined for it to be in if he has to get up and leave. She knew he didn’t mean to stay long by the way he looked reproachfully at his old spot, and in the way he gathered up the cords the last time he had been with her there. “Newcomers to our parties are frightened by my approach. But we are but three today, sister pending. So why are you pacing?” she asks him gently. “My wit and and charm comes through most of the time so she can loiter in her dressing gown all day. It pays to have a fool who can talk themselves out” addmitting, pleasingly, pleadingly, from him to join her, with the confession of her belief. Showing off how highly she sees herself in the plays of her sister’s fancy.

Her thoughts move on before she is ever through with herself but she imagines his are wholesome and potent, that he is remaining. She enjoys bringing others to their true right she thinks, but she can tell that he is trying to explain why she is neither wrong nor right to himself to equip himself for the next part of the story, but that is another matter.

This is the rest of what they are caught saying: “You pontificate as if you exaggerate. You are not being thorough with yourself, what you have accomplished these last eight weeks?” He asks. “Ideas, opinions, productions, theatrics, music, art, thought, tea, fears, dreams, all of these statements only stem from obsession.” She rebuttals. “With him, and with it, and yet you would rather me not think at all.” He agrees just to disagree. “What is your grasp on coming to achieve balance? Will your sessions of scrawling on every wall bring peace and serenity when you aren’t even claiming to be happy anymore?” She pushes. “Hey look, I have absolutely no propriety in my mind telling me when it’s not fine to speak of my life comfortably. Why not admit to every minor whim? I come to over-live. This truth frightens you?” She pushes again. “Girl, you are living to someone else’s world.” He solidifies, implying her sense of self is a flimsy construct in her sister’s net of lies. “Well only because you had better not bother understanding what I am saying rather then why I’m even here.” She makes her move in a faint spell of deafness to truth. “Why are you even here?” He asks. Knowing her sister is listening from the next room over.

She enters at this cue and answers for her sister “to show you to the door.” Signalling to the virtuous the success in their plot once more. In a small town there lived two sisters. One who had her heart taken, and one who took pride in no one could take it from her. Not with a sister like her’s to look out for her.
 
RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
HANDED DOWN

 

 

6 “

boy

2007

IDENTITIES
PROTECTED

ONE MORE NIGHT WITH THE
ONES WHO CAME BETWEEN US

 
THE BOY: [OMITTED]
THE GIRL: OMITTED
 
SOME HAVE VACATED,
WHILE SOME HAVE BEEN
LEFT VACANT


“Get me out of here” she says to him. “Inhale deep” he contends instead. [Try hard not to look up, I think to myself.] She could feel her clothes burning against her flesh as she always did when the elixir brewed deep inside her. With another sip the fire grew. “I’m not going home.” She tells him. “You never do.” He insinuates. Glaring back & alluding “If I don’t it’s because there’s nowhere for me to stay.” A lack of appreciation for her situation has tipped the scales of their ongoing courtship. He refused the defensive advances of her confession; he knew it was just a trick, as always. She never felt what she wanted him to feel. “You know you’re welcome here. Take the couch, you’ve never denied it before.” Another sip and exhale, this isn’t exactly how she had imagined the night to enfold. “Fine. I’ll stay. Pour me another drink.” He did not hesitate to comply.

The room began to twist and spin all around them. “Are you sure this is supposed to be happening?” She asks when the paranoid jitters begin to make her question every thought in her heart. “Of course, would I lie?” Maybe he misunderstood the all-encompassing existential aspect of the question. Her vision flashed a deeper shade of mistrust. “Just wait, I promise” is his assurance to her. The people around them spilled out onto the floor, in and through each door, never turning to stop, never saying a word, if they had, she did not listen and he couldn’t hear. “Will you, where, what’s going on?” He tells her to quiet. There’s no point in trying to understand, things were bound to only fall deeper, spin faster, there was no arguing the twisting. This was absolutely right. He stared directly into her eyes, she broke apart his mind. It was relentless, there was no apology, no truth. If they had ever spoken they wouldn’t know. This was the first time they’d ever seen each other in their entire lives.

This was now.

“I, I can’t remember how I got here.” She was serious. Everything before and after was completely dark. When she shut her eyes the oblivion grew deeper, the night was consuming her hope, her fright. This was the night she was bound to fall into his arms again. She didn’t care how it happened. She didn’t mind. But first, she had to make the spinning stop. Her feet hovered an inch from the carpet floor. “Why would you care? That doesn’t matter. It’s an achievement that’s already passed.” She didn’t understand what he meant. But then again she had already forgotten what they were talking about. Or who he was speaking to. There were others in the room. She peaked out from one heavy eyelid, the other remained a tomb – sealed. “Who’s even speaking right now?”

“I’m just tired OK? Please, it was nothing, pretend I never said a word.” He stares at me in disbelief. “Then why are you still here?” I ask. She bites her lip “I don’t know” she answers instead. Her confession is meek. I take one look at her bloodshot expression and turn to walk away. “Who was that?” I hear her ask as a slip back into an immediate depression. They are silent. He starts to say something but she intervenes. “I have to go, I’ve stayed too long. I’m sorry.” He watches as she leaves. Walking along the street corner she begins to tremble and withholds a cry. She realizing.. who I was.. that I was there tonight..

Nothing ever turns out as she had hoped. “If only he had come tonight, it all would have been alright” she had thought before they had commenced the pouring of the drinks. If he had been there to see the way she stared into the distance while everyone stood lost in the depths of all their conversations. She had been afraid to speak to anyone else in the room, she hadn’t a drop of thought worth sharing anyway. It was supposed to be so different, so right. If she had only forgotten her expectations it might have been a better night. If she could only let go of what wasn’t hers. She ran. Home wasn’t far now, the faster she was there the less time until she could collapse, give up, fall into an intricate stream of dreams and folly. Oh it was so close now.

Pain spread from her sides into her head, she felt light and free. A corner turned and almost, she was there. As quickly as she could keys were fumbled for and turned in the lock and she was allowed access into the warm glow of the familiar hallway. A click and upon beginning to ascend the twisting staircase she stops, gives in, slides her back against the wall and like a coward she muffles her sobs into the sleeve of her jacket. Steps are heard, someone is coming down the stairs, she doesn’t care, they come closer and stop at her feet. She does her best to raise her swollen eyes to that of the stranger, how strange indeed. It was he.

He had come after all and it was me.

 
RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
MISTAKEN IDENTITY

 

 

7 “

boy

2007

FROM ME TO YOU

 
THE BOY: HIM
WHILE STUCK IN TRANSIT
 

Fall apart onto a cold platform in a train station where your lover once left you. Stand up and walk away without her. Never look back. Tilt your head upward after a sunny day at dusk when the sky is cotton candy. Before the evening grey sets in, watch as clouds pass you by. But don’t you dare get on the train again. No more visits to the slumbering town in which she likes to stay every time she runs away to her old place.

This is the reason why our hopes never ever dare to dream at night when things that are dashed away are not right. You have an internal understanding that the bond which formed between you will sustain through all the trying moments in the years to follow. It’s a silent, mutual understanding, as far as you are concerned. One that you are always practicing. One that she was always complicating, by delaying, and facilitating at different times. Was it just another unrequited illusion?

Paradoxes of intimacy united by one action line. Acknowledgement becoming the weapon formed against you for which genuine devotion continually falls under. A pendulum of fate. She reminds you of your mistakes as she said goodbye. Closure you receive only by running into her by chance, while sitting on a bench by the pier with the yachts under the Leo moon. Something issued you to move, another locale called out to your heart. One of her places. As you moved to go, your paths collide.

She had been ignoring every message sent. You hadn’t even sought after her this time. You had just gotten used to the view of the water from this central seat in the park where you used to spend your summers. Now it would be plagued with your last memory of her again. On your way home at the station with a stone in your heart you coax yourself away from the platform ledge. Let the riots within me subside, so I may pass this concern and fall back down and break apart and try my hardest not to part.

Keep your eyes within and mind here, shut. Remind yourself, you like watching the dead flowers come to life in the spring. They grow between the rusted tracks at the station. There are only a couple variations in the species of seedling the wind carries this way. They spill out along the corners of the lawns between fences where the lawn mowers cannot plough. They tower over the acrylic green grass where no sod has been laid. And you will find just what you want.

She took the one thing I think I needed to need. Initiation. Nothing more. This is the thought I choose to take away. You hold yourself up as you feel your lover leave your heart. Yet a crispness returns to the world around you. Your vision clears. You slide from the bench to the cold stone of the platform and feel the vibrations as the train rolls in. You were sitting on the line you would take to her hideaway place whenever you had learned to search for her.

But this time you watch as the train pulls away. You get to see what it would have been like to watch yourself pass up on that opportunity so many times before. You walk away, liberated from the deception of her seduction. Free from a falsehood that had blinded your conscience, for far too long.

Truth returns. The world surrenders to its original state. Before you met her, you were a luminous being.
You were a creature of knowing and grace. You had been poisoned. She had been poison to your Scorpio heart.

 
RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
ASK YOURSELF

 

 

8 “

both

2007

COLD SUNDAYS INSIDE

 
THE BOY: ERIK
THE GIRL: [JILL]
 
Her response, self-inflicting and dry, denied nothing.

“Let them worry”

She thought, they should know better anyway.

Honestly, even a child could survive her current circumstances and live to gloat about it.

“If they can get through their daily bullshit of a life without killing themselves in the process, I can get through this ***ing cup of tea.”

The broken kettle and it’s scattered pieces of porcelain laid on the floor below her.

She took a sip, lips delighted by the bitter aroma, heated taste.

“Tell me, darling,” She asks, pausing to reflect for only a moment, then briskly continuing her point;

“Why is it that a perfectly decent man like yourself, cannot find work in a city as prosperous as this?”

She noticed he was startled by her abruptness, and proceeded to throw off trails of reason and excuse.

He really lacked the ambition to get what he actually wanted. Clearly the boy was badly altered by his needs.

“Oh never mind Erik.”

She continued to sip her tea, green as the lace of her slip, as envious as her sister while remembering family stories, past.

“This is all such a mess. It’s not like I meant for it to turn out this way; I just can’t help it.”

She grew silent.

Maybe it would have been better if she’d kept these things to her head.

 
RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
THANKFULLY OVER

 

 

9 “

boy

2017

ME AND HIM AND YOU

THE FIRST MOMENT I LAID
EYES ON HIM I KNEW IT WOULD
NOT BE THE LAST

 
THE GIRL: KATE
AND YET WE
CONTINUED ANYWAY.

 

As we finished arguing I walked out into the busy rush hour traffic off the exit to the highway in the town I fear I come from. Only children don’t drive cars. But I just want to defy him to remind myself of the mess I was in when I still knew you. When he found me, back before I ever had someone to follow, I had just left you. He found me and I found out that I had missed out on the missed step that was your love. I never thought what a shame it was to lose you. When you leave you go through everything you’re afraid of.

I come across a rummage shop with a closed sign. I peer into it’s partially mirrored windows and see customers still inside. The door reveals itself to be unlocked and I enter. No one took notice of me. I wanted nothing either. But I walked the aisles, ran my fingers along the dusted ledges and raised my eyes to meet yours once again. His photo hung dauntingly on the wall.

Wanted. For theft. By the police. It read in plain english. I stared. A bounty on your head at last. Or more like, as always. I guess you can’t arrest someone for stealing hours from their days. Or petals off the flowers you desecrate for fortune readings. Poetic Justice, no less. The wild west of your heart cuts through the marble palace of your life. Tears at the remaining thread of civility. I see that maybe I had become a hero. The anti-hero perhaps. An accomplice at best. A rake in some one-horse town posse.

At the counter I hand the woman for a curiosity I grabbed just to pay back your debt on her good heart. She asks me in our exchange if I have a man. Your portrait hangs behind her and it’s all that I can see in that instance. So I answer No. Not really. After all, you are not. I go back to that summer I wasn’t by your side for the first time. Then I go home to the man that’s mine. I don’t go home to you. Drifting through clouds submerging monuments I have walked by as I tried to crystallize.

The sky graduates from red to blue I grip the chalice with a certain veracity that draws my own attention to the fact that this is a dream and it vanishes. But then again so does everything. Lying under an apple tree in a table top mountain, the air is sweet and the grass is long. It dances across the soft part of my thigh as the sun pierces through holes eaten by caterpillars in the canopy of leaves above.

The leaf light casts a glow on walnut eyes. “But are they his or are they mine?” The disembodied voice whispers as I wake. Your fleshy body lies on it’s side with white sheets folded like the fabric of time against your golden skin. Somehow you remain translucent still. As am I. The city skyline glows red tonight. But a beam of blue slides throughout the circuitry of a muted electronic and crawls on every surface of your form. The two auras bend and compete for your being, shifting at every nanosecond in an infinite flicker. Bioluminace bands of chemical radiance. You had your own iridescent glistening gaze.

“They were yours, weren’t they?” I ask. As we stare at each other the radar and ocean of your aura graduates like the sky above as we laid under at the apple tree. The green lanterns press out from within you eyes. The effect starts ago fade and my soul returns to my body. We are back on the footpaths behind your parent’s home. I don’t want to be here. I’m supposed to be in love with you. Losing my mind for you. Ruining my life for you. Here to reunite with you for our first summer rolling down hill together. But I keep looking through canopies for his eyes. Imagining someone out there isn’t bad for me.

Before I had taken the dose I was ready for you. Now some part of me already knows that will transpire. So it’s going to take me in again any moment if I let go. But before I go. Before I let you in Let me lay here, picturing his eyes again.

Your eyes were green though. Or maybe they weren’t.

 
RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
VERY IN LOVE

 

 

10 “

boy

2017

ON ROAD

 
THE BOY: TIMOTHY
ALTERITY IS A STATE OF MIND
 
I know what was really down there. Water and fire. Handle yourself better then your greatest obstacle. The ink cuts throughout the pores of my chest. The piece extends in a collage of images up my throat where like putting hands on me could leave no bruise. No. I was covered now. Nothing can touch me now. I would leave the parlour that day with euphoria pulsing in my veins. It was if all my angels and stars had banded together with these words.
Unified by a message, one I had been working my whole life to bring together. I no longer had to live as an untouchable. An affair would evaporate from my flesh without a trace Feeling agile and composed by the newfound energy. I let my curiosity take the wheel.

Gliding through the streets instinctively following the curve and bends as the earth that would rise and fall from under the concrete and steel. The passions of my soul carved the road. The dark air beneath sky scrapers, stir up the drafts that are pulling me in. I never even come down here. The streets are never empty. But today they have been left empty for me. *** it. I kick the board up from under me and walk into the courtyard of an imperial bank. The black monuments cut into the sky and the jagged aero dynamics look like roads that lead to oceans of sky. I can see how enticing it is to fight for a window into that pathway in the sky. A pier or a plank and I have yet to walk it. I think I could take it. I think I could hide the ink that ties me to the road below it. It could be mine. No obstacles will hold me from it.

Then a piercing want of home overcomes me. Beneath the searing of my skin and the pounding veins in my fingers are a network of bones encaged in muscle. If I could reach in and pull out rib maybe I could grow eve. I take the light rail to see her. As the city grows further as the rural colours overtake the landscape and I am reminded of the home I shared with mom. Telephone wires pitched over the roofs. The clutter of an eternal slumber, the side effects of an absent summer. How familiar the mess become before I had the strength to separate. Weaned from a crescent moon. Only to make a new shanty out of what should have been a mighty brickwork.

How am I going to tell her that I’m rallying once again? It’s become a kind of routine hasn’t it? I am the brave that breaks away, when only consistence makes it to reach the high water. Nothing runs under this town that would be worth the trouble to uncover. Though once there was a swell of quicksand that pooled above an underground river. Maybe I am drawn to its absence. It’s why I feel the need to fill my knuckles with poorly scripted letters. There was nothing really more below the surface either.

I would answer to her silent whispers as she admired my courageous abandon of potential. I would hear the baited promise of a better future together in her suburban paradise. She reminded me of the time spent living with my mother when I was still a child. Still, It’s good to go see her in the summer. They do their best to litter this town in remnants of it’s former glory. Traces of topography. Traces of reservation. But you would prefer to lie in the middle of a great cement road and pray of the ideal of an urban landscape. I’d prefer if you didn’t.

Looking into the ring case. It called out to me like thunder in the pouring rain. A tiny sheaf of human nature as it is and always was, devoid of any ties to dirt and soil. A trillium heart poured in sterling. I placed it on her waiting finger. You admit that it’s why I use you. I saw that you lived inside a converted garden. White walls raised at the same time ours were. Back when they were expecting Europe to lead us into the midcentury, after a decade of careful ignorance from the Americans. Instead, due to last minute calls to arms, the border of our properties remained adjacent unfinished lots. What had been slated for prosperity, had been filed away in an archive at city hall.

Otherwise, The world was made up of tiny fragments. Salt from the sea. Grains of glass eroded by time. Yet not quite sand. I called to mention how well you had transitioned. Into this new age of the shadow cast by decadence. How this differs I can’t really determine. Less remorse if you throw a bone at it. I want your refinement about it. I want your grace. I want you to say ‘My boy does not love me the way you love me. Please write to me again some day.’ I know she hates the way how lonely it makes her now to read the poetry. Things I wrote in reply to her pouring fountain of emotions when she was romantic.

She had wanted to tell me what she was feeling because it had become a past-time. I couldn’t blame her. It was better then television. But not by much. It was only a matter of months before she closed her last message to me. I would have to end it. There is no other way to acknowledge it. Whatever it is. She’s reaching into my body and pulling out sound. A song. I can’t allow it. I swore I would not write for her no more. If that is all we have left to hold on to then let it go.
 
RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
TRANSFIXED

 

 

11 “

boy

2017

MY LITTLE BLOSSOM

INTERNALLY POISED

 
THE GIRL: ROSE
THE BOY: DEXTER
WHO KNEW WHAT I WAS COMING HOME TO
 
His notebook looked like a salesman’s dying epitaph. Just the familiarity of the phrases made him embarrassed to have grown up under the watchful eye of mediocrity. The denial. The absence of spirit when it all boiled down to scum at the edge of the lake. A body of water the locals had long since abandoned for bathing. It had been soiled by their recreational luxury. It had been a surface that all the freemen would glide for sport.

“I had to change my ways. I had to stop sleeping through the day. I had to only go out at night. I had to only go out at night. I had to remain awake all the time. It was the only way. I had to get her voice back again.” He etched, as a collective thought, between the lines of lecture notes. Wondering how he would face the girl he loved.

His girl had been silent ever since he let her think he had made other plans. It was like her heart was dead. He just wanted to invite some different versions of their village for once. Some other take on the wreckage they had stumbled on in our school age vignettes. He tries to picture the bend at the path in the woods that grew behind his old house. The one to the side of the arena. “I gave up on sports for her. I sat in the bleeding grass for her. I let her pout out a drink too strong for her,” the inscription of the page explains.

“I watched her slide down the side of the incline for her. Just so she knew I was fine with giving up on whatever it was I mind for her.” But this is just too much.

Taking of his boots Aaron notices a soft aroma of flowers vibrating in the air. He finds his little blossom lying in the bedroom tongue pressed between the index finger and thumb, chewing on her fingers just for fun. “I can’t stand he way I have to talk to you like that baby,” he releases aloud into her shoulder blade. She twists and turns the contents of her mouth but utters no words to him, and he’s fine with that.

 
RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
SWEET DISSOLVE

 

 

12 “

both

2017

THOSE THAT COME OVER

THE RESOLUTIONS

 
THE GIRL: DREAMY
AFTER IT’S OVER
 
I’m going down to the water to howl at the moon. I’m going to retrace all my steps for a decade just to get on the landlocked ferry to New York state. I am going to take it’s last journey so I can run away and live in an underground city. I’m going to watch a watermelon decay in the shallow end of a river and take a picture just to mark the occasion. I’m going to go off the grid to draw grids in the sand with a stick and play tick tac toe with an unworthy opponent, just so I can win over and over again. And then do it all over again.





 
THE BOY: REDEEMING
UNCONVINCING ANTHOLOGIES
 
I’m not going to play any of her games today. I’m not going to withhold information. I won’t be keeping words to myself until it’s too late and we are fighting. If she isn’t going to listen I am going to talk over her anyway. I will apologize for what I have been hiding. Then I will accept that it isn’t as bad as I have made it out to myself. I won’t disturb the peace.

 
BOTH: UNANIMOUSLY
QUITE CONSOLINGLY
 
It never means enough to bring up when it’s brought up during an argument. Yet I still need to say it. Why? Those little preventative things we keep like it’s a secret. I guess we both secretly think it will make it easier to leave, if we just let it fall apart in it’s own undoing. Maybe you are just intently perpetrating the situation by keeping everything to yourself until the one sided efforts of the other run dry. Then you can finish your games and leave them on the fly. Or maybe we feel like there is no way to pierce through the wall of constant speaking without hearing from the other. We give up trying to interject and contribute our rightful half of the verbal equation. You give up on them for withholding their recognition of your need to be a man or woman of your own mind. Or we have been burned too many times for trying to contribute to the conversations by the assumptive temper other and have grown accustomed to the slow motion evolution.

We come to rely on short windows of growth, to push us past the last windfall of a relationship parable, saving everything until the patience runs out.

Regardless. I don’t want you to leave. Eventually we’ll learn not to withhold. We know now where it will always lead. No surprises.

 
RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
PARTLY UNRESOLVED

 

 

13 “

boy

2017

FROM THE HURON

ONE SIDE OF THE TRIANGLE

 
THE GIRL:AIDEN
THE BOY: AIDEN
HERE IN A PLACE WHERE THERE IS NO DAWN
 

The Huron used to call it the lake of shimmering waters. I found my fortune, but all of it was already gone. But looking out at the glimmering lake he thought about her, and what of it she had kept for him to hold on. Even if the plot lay barren with dust, sometimes the blood in the clay from the hill still ran through his trenches and pooled into her world. If only she could see my perspective. If she could hear what I’m thinking, she would never be so cruel. Because if anyone knew how good a woman she would one day be, he knew.

He had loved her since they were children, but she had only shown amorous qualities of late. Even if she had tried for years before to keep him by her side, to stay at her place, she was never ready for love. Only sensed the origin of it in him, reverberating with the beat of his pounding blood. He would wait. She almost seemed ready. But he had already made a home out of the old bungalow his father had left for him with another woman. They shared a house, paid the bills with what they could manage off their minimum paid jobs, and appreciated each other enough to be thankful to have someone a little more real then a roommate to share their formative years with. A little more real was a little too much for her to believe him.

It was a love triangle for the ages. Something about devotion scared her from him in the final hour. Something about knowing his heart and body could coexist with two woman at the same time repulsed her, when she realized it was his heart that she wanted more then his body at that time anyway.

[At least that is how he thought she left it when the imprint of her palm reverberated from his cheek.] From that moment onward he wore thick black hair on his face to help hold her secret hand mark on his skin where his girl could not reach. That was the effect she had on him, whether she ever recognized it, he would never know, but hoped. Because when she saw him again, he gave no explanation, she asked no questions, but she put her hand to her own cheek. She exchanged that look she always gave him whenever she was touched by something he had done for her.

Standing by the water Aiden reflects on what had happened the night before, what had been revealed, that maybe she had his concealment a little too much. “I’m not going to be your dirty little secret Aiden” She had burst out with the palm of her hand to strike him again when he had tried to kiss her. He had gone to the bar closest to her house in hopes of finding her, like he had every potential night for two months, waiting for her to finally break from whatever pedestal of appearance she was keeping and go where she knew she would find him. His fingers gripped her wrist instead. Not this time. He knew what they both wanted, more then an impact point, more then another bruised mouth. She called him a prick and sped off in the rust bucket El Dorado she was so proud of after they fucked in the parking lot behind the dive and denied each other a chance at something more constructive. Something he knew that he wanted, a chance to talk.

“Why would I stay with someone just to protect their reputation Allie?” Kicking an unlit cigarette lost on the ground by his feet. Apologizing to no one that was there. If it had been three years earlier she would have wanted to talk. Somehow the point had gotten away from him, he thought. Keeping up appearances wasn’t like her, he thought. Indentured commitments based of a flimsy premise of love or house weren’t like her, he swore it. This was far from a home, as either of them interpreted the word. More like a shelter from the lake storm. More like, a final thank you for never questioning the world around you. More like a final reminder that very few of us exceed the worth of our fathers before becoming fathers of our own first.

They used to line men up and shoot after all. They rewarded the survivors surviving grandfathers just enough to leave inheritance packages large enough to distinguish the sons of grandfathers from sons of widows and daughters for a few generations longer. Most of the money had run out by now. We were all just watching as some other paradigm washed over our linoleum shackles with granite and stone. Who knows the origins of these new sons of sons, daughters of daughters of sons of fathers, and grand mothers, grand fathers. You had to already be from here to know where it was, when he was a child. They turned Slater’s estate into a hospice for the wounded soldiers who had returned home unlike the man to whom her street was named. She had no grandfathers, nor they fathers to their names. The street was carved out of a strawberry field and apple orchard the year that her mother attended the Montreal Expo 67, a post-post war split level made of brick the same colour as the old tannery that lay in an abandoned waste when we were still teenagers.

He knew every last detail of her home and where she’d came from, because he knew she always searched for answers in the quiet hours of her constant gaze. He wanted to catch her off guard one day and let her know he knew her better then she knew herself. But lately he started to worry that it might be truer then he had anticipated. A small romantic habit had turned into a real source of danger. He was draining herself from her. If it had been three years earlier she would have let him kiss her. Though, if it had been three years earlier she wouldn’t have let him take her in the backseat of the El Dorado. Somehow that was enough.

“What about us Allie? What about wanting to be with someone you’re actually in love with?” She answered him yelling “What if I’m just some itch you want to scratch. What if it’s not real love? What then? What about me? There’s no us.” Slamming the phone down on the receiver with a crash before the click of the hang up. He absorbed the ringing of colliding plastic in his ear before the white noise of his anger bled into the pouring rain pelting at the phone-booth outside her mothers parked car. She had loaned it to him to drive to see her in a desperate hour once upon a time before.

He pulled his hood over his bent head and walked out into the pouring rain. Crossing the lot to her mid rise apartment complex. He buzzed the intercom from the front terrace in the rain. He looked up at a dimly lit window in the front facing courtyard three floors up. She stood there practically naked staring at him through the wet glass. She slipped away and the speaker clicked, she didn’t say anything. “No one will ever love you more then I do in this hour. Don’t take that away from me.” She was listening, he could hear her breathing. “Are you just going to take away from me? Is that really what you want? Not to hear how I feel before you decide what you’re going to do about me? About us? Allie?” The door lock clicked open.

I’ve never taken that away from you Allie. Maybe she was just too scared to let him in to her life, but that didn’t stop her from letting me into her place that night. He stood there with the door handle in his hand, the rain soaking through his clothes. Upstairs her breasts pressed against the glass in an honest wanting, but the look on her face hadn’t changed, she seemed stoic and sad. He couldn’t distinguish the raindrops rolling down the window from tears on her face but as he let go of the door and turned to the car he was sure he had seen her cry one too many times because once was enough for him to leave.

From that moment forward he regretted walking away in silence. He should have gone up those three flights of stairs in one fluid step to her bedroom and lifted her naked veil off her body and revealed the cool layer of her flesh that had been pressed against the glass with his rain soaked hands. He wished they could warm each other in a flowing exchange of certain longing, and definite knowing of one another’s wants. He needed that now more then ever before. If that was our only moment together as a man and woman lost in their love for each other, ‘honest to god,’ he uttered ‘I will drive right down to the front porch her El Dorado is parked in front of and beat the life out of whoever she is with now.’ Getting in his car he gave the lake a final look and closed the door behind.

He was convinced that Allie was still practicing for the woman she wanted to be when it was all over and a good man was ready to let her build a home around him. He could tell she knew what she wanted to be when it was all over, and she was acting it out every night alone behind bedroom walls. But she was missing out on all the time between. Maybe she wasn’t ready to be accompanying him here while he was still holding on for her, while he still wasn’t ready to change how he was living, because she didn’t know she could have both. He slammed his hand on the steering wheel in frustration while pulling away from the lake. He still had the smell of her perfume on his brain. He had to go pick up Allie from work. It would be a great day for her car to break down. Given that he wasn’t ready to lose her scent to another.

The blood drained from his face as fear encroached on his territory as a man. If that were there only moment of real love, all because she wouldn’t acknowledge the one thing in the world he really wanted. That a man could love. That was how he knew, plain and simple, that she was the one.

 
RELATIONSHIP
STATUS:
COMPLICATED

 

 

14 “

boy

2017

THE RECKONED

A FORCE TO RECKON WITH
AT THE RECKONING

LONG DISTANCE

 
THE GIRL: LIFTED
THE BOY: ASHAMED
 

Guardian angels surround her. They make it so difficult for me to get to her. They know the way those simple little words make her break.

To seek Excalibur is to search for Arthur’s rightful sword. You are not who it is intended for.

He thinks:

[We were warriors of God. Pushed apart from time to time to serve over seas. We would return wiser. We would name reasons other then our duty for being apart. God would not have separated us if we were ready to be left in peace, in our final resting place. Angels surround her. And I am taken in by the devil every time I leave. For every battle I give myself to it’s cause, I become devoted to the evil of the world, even if it is for the good I bare arms, I surrender my energy to it. But every crusade must come to an end, even if it was a higher power that heralded the call to arms. No righteousness will ever bow to another righteous gun. I’d rather go home then see it come to that.

But if I could just get her to picture me with my boys at my side sitting on the ledge of the rink like how we spend most of our time.. Then it would all just slide down her neck and spine, perspired like when we get together in those late summer nights inside. Bodies pushing up against another in the trance of the amber club light. He once stayed awake all night on the balcony of a hotel overlooking the highway. Neither the substance in his system nor the traffic in either lane way ever ceased for a moment at their rapid pace. He was disgusted. There was no break in the motion of the road. No opening to be free.

Now as he stood on the overpass watching as her cavalcade of guardians passed, he knew he had made a mistake this time. Maybe not even just this time, maybe every time. This time was just different, because he had to finally come face-to-face with the might of the woman he was losing. A fleet of black busses and tractor trailers spanning every lane passed in a thundering roar. He was frightened. She passed him without breaking.
 
There was no pause in the stride of her road most travelled. Yet she was the only living person in the world with as many guardians to surround them at this moment. They were there to guide her, keep her fighting as the highest warrior in his army. He felt his banner fall from his hand, wrapping around the bannister as a testament to his surrender, the white cloth flickered and then followed after her.

He had always believed they were distracting her, to get more out of him. To bend him, change him, discourage him, to keep her from putting away her armor and laying in their wedding bed. Maybe she wasn’t as distracted as he had come to assume, he considered in that moment. Maybe. He prayed she would grow tired of them distracting her with his erroneous ways at least if she was. “Come home to me darling.” He cried.]

They used to be two kids riding bikes in the night.
 
Two silhouettes radiating amber lamp light over every cement surface, her light always echoed at a cooler shade. The glow looked as if we emitted it from the pink flesh of violet eyelid. Maybe it was because we adapted to the night. Two individuals doing the honorable thing, by cohabiting in a state of the art platonic condition. Both avoiding affairs of the heart. Both equally insane. Both helping each other scare any others away.

She was too young to be seduced into receiving the favours of eligible bachelors, and he made it his duty to follow her through the empty streets at night to protect her from predatory strangers. Together they were safe, two reverberating as one. Sharing a home but never sharing a bed.

The last time he saw her, it was the night she had been chosen to go on road, he wanted to die. Tears rolled down her cheeks and face as I gripped tiny arms in my restrained clench. “I just wanted to be on the right side in the worst way. I split my body mind and soul open with the fall of the axe, I said everything I could to justify all the things I’d done wrong. All that was righteous in my life splintered away. I was no longer whole. But when they put me together again.

I was more complete then I had ever been in my life before. I had humility. My life was stole.” She poured out to him in a hysterical confession of why he really left her. He let her slip away. “And it’s all because of you. All because you were gone. All those years together and you just left. I had no one and nothing and I was starting my life over from ground zero. I would never wish that fate on anyone.” It’s true. I had broken her. She had started over. She had chosen the road, to put on shows. To tell her wounded story.

 
He thinks:

[Most of us grow up in places in a state of abandon. But we promise ourselves to never abandon each other. Dream of building new towns around the allegiance. But, one by one. We let each other go. Because we learn that we are bad, from our families who are watching us come home after nights away. There was no inherent deviation. I just happened to get carried from one theatre lot to another in the midst of an engrossing conversation. The dialogue escapes me now.

But in the years that followed I found myself returning to that place of origin and noticing a consistent thread to each failed relationship. It started at a party, where I was talking about my problems to someone eager to listen. Not everyone talks about their struggle. It can get hard to find. Yet, she was the hardest of all of them to find. I’d never loved anyone like I’d loved her. I never would if I could help it. If only I could find a way to fix this. There would be no more problems, or people to latch on to them. People who would leave. People I would leave too.

He should have known that was what he asked of her when he went away. How do you ask her to un-start a start over? When will we begin to live together? Her angels never answered.]

 
RELATIONSHIP STATUS:
DISTANT LONGING

 

 

15 “

girl

2017

LILA AND FORRESTER

SELF REFLEXIVITY &
HOW THE APPETITE CHANGES

 
THE GIRL: LILA

COMPOSING ANOTHER LETTER AGAIN

 
I have taken great care to ensure the woman I am today is strides closer to the girl I was yesterday. I will slip out of my skin for a moment and tinker to the bone if it will calibrate the maiden you have dreamed for me to become because I adore your guiding heart. I will take what comes easy until I carve another road of my own.

I stood under the umbrella of his colours. He was the first boy to claim me and I him, and I went about my days under the security of my contentedness. I was excitable. But he wanted more then that. He wanted the desperate energy that fuelled his over intoxications. He wanted it all the time. He wanted it to infringe on responsibility. He wanted it to disrupt him. Keep him curled up in the shadow of a day bed while the gears of the world turned around the shallows of his head, by the anchor of his body weight as the depression sank in.

He was the first boy that ever claimed this girl as his girlfriend, and the last for the matter. Until then.. Since him I have always tried it his way. Never knowing the person too intimately, only absorbing his image in my heart. Standing over the umbrella of his colours, living in his situation but never living with him, hardly living with constancy myself. I began to be disrupted more often then I had intended.

I wanted love to better my life, to elevate it, to make me content. He had wanted love to take over his world and give him a reason not to go to work anymore. Nowhere you had to be sober. That’s why when I dreamed of him last night I was not surprised that he had died. Nor that it was by suicide. Nor was I unaware that it was a dream. It didn’t matter. I was always lucid when it came to dreams of him or me and you.

In the morning when I woke I lay in bed visualizing the way I had left the man I love. The way I left you. How I was too scared that you would find a version of myself I could not reach in someone else. How it had frightened me, and I lashed out. Pushed him away. Ensured his departure by accusing him, deciding that it had already transpired. How it had already cast a shadow on our time together. Even when it hadn’t. I had said too much to his vanity, but not enough to his soul. I let him go.

All because it had already happened too many times before, with other people. Between him, the one I loved and he, to whom I once belonged. A sour falsehood which had been planted in my perception of life, one I nurtured and in called upon in bad taste and at the wrong time. I mean, I was so focused on what had never really happened, the flimsy road of unbelonging which had been misconstrued as cases of rejection and failure, all because I was still living under the umbrella of his colours. All the while ignoring what had really happened to me. The blame I had taken that was not mine to be laden with. The abandon I had lived in ever since he left.

After all, the desire to bring someone from my past with me as I parted ways from everyone who had surrounded him, had created problems of their own volition. An idea that I could not argue without offering some prospect of paradise formed in my mind as a consolation prize for being alone. But how hard was it really to negotiate that the world was bigger and better then the one we were thrown into by chance at school in the suburbs. How hard would it be for two girls to find a better life for themselves by rejecting the grey area of it all. After all, no one was loyal to her or I, beyond those trying moments of democratic inquisition. In times where they would vote to see if my faults were still visible.

I mean, of course they were. But they were hardly standing by her in the way she imagined either. They would turn if I asked them. I just never asked them. I’d already witnessed it once and that was enough for me to know better then to think she belonged to any of them. For goodness sake, they left her in a burning car wreck to die. Yet the amnesia had whitewashed the history which had conveniently remained littered with the promises of scout’s honours to stand by one another. It was the right thing to do, but she was doing it for the wrong ones. They had brainwashed her yet again. They were not the people that life still offered.

It was all book-ended by my own indecision. Persuaded by the idealization of a time where I was nothing more then a stepping stone in someone’s selfish attempt to surpass everyone around him. I too had been swayed by the time which was the summer of love by native default. My blind-side attention to the fear had become an appendage to my body. A defensive limb that fought off every attempt you made to talk me into knowing. I didn’t need convincing, you just needed the chance to say what needed to be said. To say that you were in love and wanted me there to stay. I programmed my own flight path almost the moment I heard the breath enter young lungs, or the beating of your heart.

It had been bothering me for some time before. After all these years, was I really still bound to the situation he tethered me in. Did my wounded body still bleed from something as trivial as the virgin bed I was wrestled out of in the dead of night? By a boy acting in good faith, and nothing more? Had I really let him cast my life in a spotted shade of jade? Had polka-dot really filled my eyes? Had I lay my head eternally in the deep rotten woods of the everglades? Would the tree light release me?

Would I ever find the constant pace of self regulated wanting and knowing and solace again? That solar fire I bathed in that had given me the strength to at least try my hand at having a heart for someone without interference by obstacles from the start. Had that fire been extinguished? Was it really so lost and gone from me that here and now in this perfect moment – when the man of my dreams opened his heart to me – I would let some fatalistic design encroach on my chance of being happy? Would I ruin my chance of the varsity wonder I had seen myself as for him?

Something I’d seen from a time before his time had even befallen on my heart? In my dream I was given the chance to return to his childhood bedroom and in a suspenseful moment alone rifle through his stacks of readings and notes. His writing was surprisingly clean and legible. The sign of a healthy mind. Not at all as I had imagined it. His readings advanced and proving, a sign that he had evolved by his own hand. I suppose in his sobriety now more then ever he had become determined that he had nothing left to live for. That the suffering had gone on for long enough. I know he is still alive. I know that drinking his days to slumber is the fuel to keep him from reaching a level of suicide. His grievances have all been aired. Even just to himself in the final moments before he falls off to bed. Why he came to me in this dream, makes me think he wants to release me, as much as I want to be free from his bellowing grief.

But I pray that he finds out that he still has the time as a person to start over. And I thank god that my days under his colours are finally over. That it’s OK for me to sit here feeling nothing other then the content rumble of belonging. Nothing more, for me, was ever needed. I’d rather have a steady beating heart then a bleeding one. I’d rather let the sap pour from my body then let the salty waters flush out all pleasure from my mind in their sobbing thunders

I’d rather talk of milk and honey when he is right beside me, making my body electric and numb, then ever have to sit in my quiet hours when I am bound to a desk and a paper with my tummy in a ruddy knot. I’d rather sip on tea and coffee then to ever drink from their flask of steel and tin by fly ridden waters, along a promenade with a no trespassing sign we are once again ignoring. I’d rather know now before it is too late.

It wasn’t long before another school of conversing youth climbed our fences to empty lots that faced the water. When I passed by the hidden road yesterday they had reinforced the gate and padlocked the latch that once lay free for us to open. I guess maybe there weren’t many times that someone like him and I had made their secret hideaway on forbidden forest driveways. We were quiet, we could hear our colours talk. He let me into his situation and I accepted it for what it was. Most of the world is loud. And in their deafening roars they miss out on what the lake relays for itself.

They miss out on their mistakes. They miss out on the fleeting mishaps and chances they didn’t take. In the constant emission of sound, a noise composition of their voices rising over one another, they get to remain perfectly unaware of anything other then the face value of each others presence. Perfectly unaware of how fleeting the company they keep will seem until that final, determining summer, where everybody leaves. Then who remains by your side, will be as bound to your deaf ears as they are yours. Nothing can initiate intimacy in a status quo. I could have been more like them. I could have never found you.

We could have never built this home too. I write my apology in the first layer of the dark emerald, as I paint over the wooden door frame I pass through to get to you.

 

RELATIONSHIP
STATUS:
READY TO MOVE ON

 

 

16 “

boy

2017

 
THE BOY: [DAWSON]
THE GIRL: SAN ANDREAS
 

 

RELATIONSHIP
STATUS:
SAN ANDREA’S FAULT

 

 

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